2017 was quite a year for Creature Lab when you look at it all together. Here's a quick month by month write up of the main events of the year.
Gunther Prague's album "Wax Mask" is mixed, and they immediately start work on new songs.
CLR takes over The Tin for the Friday and Saturday of Independent Venue Week... Resurrection Men, Thoria, Gunther Prague, Infinite Three and Futumche are the lineup over the two days. Sadly The Courtesy Group had to pull out, but its ok, we've since booked them for IVW 2018.
"Wax Mask" is mastered in Edinburgh by Reuben Taylor
Resurrection Men begin work on their second album "No" at The Moonbase.
CLR and Futumche arrange for the band's first EP to be released via the label.
Recording dates in late October are set for Gunther Prague's second album with Steve Albini at Electrical Audio, Chicago.
"Wax Mask" audio goes off to the pressing plant for checking, and the project goes into "production". Vinyl artwork is finalised by the CLR's in-house design team (read: Steve).
Resurrection Men complete the recording of "No"
Gunther Prague record and mix their Covers EP in under eight hours, and also find time play their last gigs before the release of "Wax Mask"
Futumche complete work on their debut EP, now titled "Gazing into Misery", and early drafts of the artwork are completed.
The CD sleeve for "Wax Mask" is completed.
Our in-house design team also finds to do the sleeve for Superhooch's Majike Bottle EP (a self release by the band).
Posters for a joint record Launch - Gunther Prague's "Wax Mask" album, and Futumche's "Gazing into Misery EP" start to go up around the city. The show will be at The Box, FarGo Village.
"Wax Mask" arrives on vinyl, and artwork is finalised for "Gazing into Misery"
Both "Wax Mask" and "Gazing into Misery" arrive on CD, meaning that all stock is ready in plenty of time for the dual launch gig.
The show at The Box goes ahead with Gunther Prague, Futumche and Television Screens. In terms of the production, its our biggest DIY show to date... We rig up large projector screens in the room showing live footage from cameras around the venue as well as the band's visuals. "It's like a DIY Wembley Arena" Just to be awkward, Gunther Prague play at least three songs itended for their second album. It's also the hottest day of the year.
Another one of our series "Secret Gigs", this time with Gunther Prague and Ravens. "You put on gigs in mad places!" says one punter, which has remained one our highlights of the year.
Gunther Prague head into the Moonbase to record demos for their second album. "Demos are a thing of the past really, but we will be recording this album onto analogue tape and it'll be mostly live. We won't have much slack in the recording time so we'll make sure we've heard all the songs back in the Moonbase before we go."
"Stalin wasn't Stallin" and "Imma Read" from the Gunther Prague Covers EP is released via YouTube.
Resurrection Men gather for a photo-shoot for the inner sleeve of "No", shot by the CLR house photographer Antony Weir of course. The release date, and launch gig for the album are announced.
Gunther Prague play their last gig before heading off to Chicago, roadtesting the material from the new record.
Gunther Prague record another set of demos for their second album at the Moonbase, before heading off at the end of the month to Chicago to record the real thing with Steve Albini at Electrical Audio.
Resurrection Men's second album "No" is released on 12" vinyl and CD. The release is marked with the biggest CLR show yet at the West Indian Centre, with support from Charles Dexter Ward and the Imagineers, and Blackcar - former Headswim frontman Dan Glendining.
Gunther Prague make it back through to the UK with the 10Kg of audio tape that is the only copy of their second album in existence... US customs are understandably interested and unpack the back that its being carried in, but it makes it back unscathed.
Tenebrous Liar, Black Helium and Futumche play the first ever show in the former Coventry Evening Telegraph offices. The 1950s, wood panelled board rooms are easily the most unusual place we've ever run a show, and ever inch of the walls is covered with projections during Tenebrous Liar's set. This was a really special show which we will not forget for a long time.
Finally, we round the year off at The Tin with a our fourth end of year party and a proper old-fashioned Cov lineup: Resurrection Men, Thoria and Moonbears.
That's quite a year when you look at it all together. Thanks for reading this far if you made it to the end. We are looking forward to more of the same in 2018.